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Build a Better Budget with Frequent Updates

Build a Better Budget with Frequent Updates

By | Accounting software, ERP | No Comments

A lot of work goes into budgeting and forecasting, which may be why many businesses choose to only tackle the job once a year. However, many financial experts agree that budgets are rarely perfect and often need to be adjusted much more than annually. The reality is that increasing budgeting frequency (read: more than once per year) can be highly effective and can help you gain a competitive edge.

The Benefits of Ongoing Budgeting

Suppose a couple of months after you finalize your annual budget, your cost of goods increases by 10%. Clearly, this increase is going to have a domino effect throughout your business, impacting everything from profit margins to operating expenses and even salaries. 

Making an adjustment to your budget sooner rather than later can help you mitigate the impact of this unexpected increase and maintain profitability. Otherwise, issues like a 10% increase can slip through the cracks and create major financial havoc over the rest of the fiscal year.

Things like shifts in consumer preferences, supply chain sourcing and brand reputation can all create similar effects. When you review your budget more frequently, you can better identify and respond to these changes before they become bigger issues that are harder to recover from.

How to Conduct Budgeting Sprints

Once you set an annual budget, you don’t have to reinvent it from scratch each time you review it. Instead, focus on the following action steps:

Build a Better Budget with Frequent Updates

Review Previous Forecasts

Revenue performance only tells part of the story. It’s important to compare revenue to the assumptions that previously led to your budgeting decisions to get a clearer picture of your progress.

For example, suppose you based your budget on getting 100 new clients a month at $100 each. Assume 10% of customers will churn each month for a net gain of 90 new clients. When reviewing your actual financials, you can determine whether you’re truly gaining 100 new clients, whether 10% are churning and whether your revenue aligns with a 90-client gain.

If things didn’t turn out the way you planned, now is an opportunity to learn what went wrong and adjust your budget accordingly. 

Shift Priorities

Maybe you overspent in a certain category or maybe you didn’t get as many clients as you’d budgeted for. Whatever the reason, increasing budgeting frequency can help you detect these issues so you can shift your priorities. Look at how much cash you have on hand and how quickly you’re spending. In some cases, you might not be hitting targets because you aren’t spending enough in certain areas, like marketing for example.

How the Right ERP Solution Supports Increased Budgeting Frequency

Business budgeting is full of uncertainties, but an ERP solution can help bring clarity to complexity. An ERP helps increase visibility into your data, automate critical tasks and ensure forecasting accuracy, all of which can help drive better budgeting decisions. To learn more about how ERP can help streamline business budgeting, reach out to us. We’d love to chat.

Five Reasons to Make the Switch to Acumatica ERP

Five Reasons to Make the Switch from Dynamics GP to Acumatica Cloud ERP

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, Manufacturing | No Comments

Five Reasons to Make the Switch to Acumatica ERPFor years, Microsoft Dynamics GP served your company well. But the introduction of Cloud ERP solutions changed everything. Growing businesses need software that is flexible, resilient and innovative. In times of turmoil or disaster, Cloud ERP helps protect your business from prolonged outages with frequent backups and allows your entire team to access the platform from anywhere at any time.

Over the past 12 months, Microsoft has shifted its focus away from Dynamics GP. Our NexTec customers have found huge success in switching from their GP solutions to Acumatica Cloud ERP, winner of Best ERP Software by PCMag and Best Manufacturing Solution by SIIA CODIE Awards.

Below, we highlight the reasons why our customers chose to convert to Acumatica and how you can make the switch to the most adaptable business management solution on the market.

 

Why Convert?

The number one thing we hear from our Dynamics GP customers who have switched to Acumatica is, “I wish I had done this sooner.” Here’s why:

1. Deployment

Implementing a new ERP is a big undertaking, which may be part of the reason you’ve put off making the switch. The good news is that ERP software has evolved to make implementing and learning a new solution easier than ever.

Acumatica is a true cloud and mobile product that makes it easy for customers to choose the applications they want to implement and when. Flexible deployment options, browser-based access and multiple licensing choices make the implementation process much more streamlined than in the past. Acumatica’s screen navigation and module layout are very similar to GP but offer much more robust functionality and its point-and-click conversion tool helps speed up and simplify the conversion process.

2. Integration

Older software solutions have trouble integrating with modern tools for eCommerce or advanced warehouse management. According to a report released by Gartner, organizations must modernize their integration strategy if they want to ensure success. One the biggest roadblocks to this integration strategy is relying on inflexible tools and techniques meant for previous-generation ERP deployments.

Fortunately, a cloud-based solution like Acumatica comes with built-in API automation that simplifies electronic communication with third-party apps. Popular tools like Shopify or sales tax software Avalara are easy to integrate and can help extend your Acumatica software to meet the specific needs of your business.

3. Cost

We get it, switching from Dynamics GP sounds costly and time-consuming. But what if we told you that customers who have already converted from Dynamics GP to Acumatica were able to enhance operational efficiency, improve growth margins and increase sales volume?

By investing in a system built for the new digital economy, you can:

  • Reduce the cost of goods sold
  • Reallocate IT resources
  • Optimize marketing spend

Not convinced? Calculate your ROI with this free interactive tool.

Acumatica Sales Processing

 

4. Scalability

Planning for the future can be difficult without the proper tools in place to help you adapt to changing circumstances. While it’s impossible to be certain about your business’ growth path, having a future-proof business management solution in place will result in a fully connected business that achieves continuity and resiliency no matter what the future holds.

With Acumatica, there is no restrictive per-user pricing model, so you can extend the solution to add more users when needed. In terms of functionality, growing businesses may start by implementing Acumatica’s financial management and CRM features and plug into new tools for distribution management or BI further down the road. Cloud ERP solutions like Acumatica are designed to allow you to start small and expand your business processes when you’re ready.

5. Accessibility

One of the biggest benefits of switching to a Cloud ERP is the ability to access your business information anywhere, at any time, from any device.

Acumatica offers 24/7 system access from any location on any device. Your system’s user interface is responsive, which means that it adapts to various screen sizes and orientations, making workflows consistent no matter how your team is interacting with the system. For employees out in the field, the Acumatica mobile app is incredibly user-friendly and helps make tasks like time or expense reporting simple and efficient.

 

NexTec Group has one of the largest and most experienced teams of certified Acumatica and GP consultants. The dual-product expertise gives us a distinct advantage in helping our customers make the transition to the Cloud. To learn more about switching to Acumatica, check out our Dynamics GP to Acumatica Conversion Guide or reach out to us. We’d love to chat.

 

 

Acumatica 2020 R2

New Features to Look for in Acumatica 2020 R2

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, ERP | No Comments

Acumatica 2020 R2

If you need a business management solution or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) that fits your industry, is flexible, customizable and easy to update because it’s in the Cloud, look no further than Acumatica. It won an Editors’ Choice Award from PCMag.com in both 2018 and 2019, which noted its ease-of-use, customization capabilities, mobility features and pricing model among reasons to consider it for your company.

In the newly released Acumatica 2020 R2 ERP solution, every application module has been enhanced in some way.

New Functionality Added to Acumatica Cloud ERP

No matter your business focus, Acumatica 2020 R2 has a wide range of new features designed to empower users to deliver their best results by working smarter, not harder. The update delivers both usability improvements and added functionality to make Acumatica an even better option for growing businesses.

A Modern User Experience

No matter what you do, your ERP solution is only as powerful as its user experience. As always, Acumatica ERP software has worked hard to deliver improvements to the core product:

  • Automatically create AP documents – Create important financial documents directly from your vendor bills to save time. 
  • Access recently viewed records – Instantly see your most recent records to save time in searching. Acumatica 2020 R2 stores up to 500 of your most recent records for easy retrieval. Records are easily organized by document type to help you dial in on what’s important at the moment. 
  • Gain real-time visibility – Dashboards and common areas automatically refresh so you can trust you’re working with the latest insights and details.
  • Simplify generic inquiries – An intuitive interface allows users to make generic inquiries not related to specific customers, documents or data.
  • Preview query results – Users can get a data preview of query results before clicking through to make sure they’ve found what they need. This can help save time in backtracking and forming new queries.

Vertical-Focused Enhancements

Acumatica has earned a reputation for creating powerful features specific to various industries, and the new Acumatica 2020 R2 is no different. Here’s a look at the superior functionality and enhancements that will help you dominate your market:

  • Cross-company sales capability – This unique feature allows companies to buy and sell from each other to streamline sales growth.
  • Native Shopify integration – Acumatica 2020 R2 connects directly with your Shopify store to supercharge your B2C commerce. This new integration was built on a brand new commerce engine that makes it easy to connect your e-commerce applications.
  • Reduce bad debt – Simplify and streamline the collections process with faster payment and credit card processing directly inAcumatica 2020 R2 the ERP solution.
  • Protect shipments – Postpone shipments until payment is received, helping protect your products and finances and minimize collections and penalties.
  • Flexible appointment scheduling – New appointment features allow your appointments to span multiple days. This makes it easy to log miles, breaks and expenses for single jobs across multi-day projects.

Future-Proof Features

No matter your industry, Acumatica ERP software serves to improve everything from warehouse management to advanced planning and scheduling to distribution. The new launch of its game-changing management solution enables all of the above using features that help you future-proof your business operations:

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning – AI and ML are the foundation of automation to help you slash time without cutting corners. These features are put to work in multiple aspects of Acumatica’s new ERP software, including automatically generating AP documents and providing real-time insight.
  • Advanced workflow engine – Visually modify workflows to gain a better understanding of how operations are conducted. Easily make changes to your management solution to see how new processes impact the overall ecosystem.
  • OData standards supported – Acumatica ERP software supports the latest OData standards to keep you compliant.
  • Mobile device compatibility – Access critical data in Acumatica from mobile devices in a tailor-made mobile experience.
  • Open architecture – An open platform allows for rapid integrations, scalability and ease of use to position you for future growth.

More About Acumatica

While there are many benefits to selecting Acumatica as your ERP solution, one of the biggest is its ability to innovate. Thanks to its 100% Acumatica partner model, the company can focus a high percentage of its staff on research and development while allowing a selective and well-trained group of Acumatica partners, like NexTec Group, the freedom to customize a solution for customers like you.

Knowing this, the company’s innovation is put on display during its semi-annual updates—times where Acumatica can show off the new features and functionality added to the platform.

Learn More About Acumatica 2020 R2

NexTec Group is proud to be an Acumatica partner. We’ve helped hundreds of customers modernize and grow their businesses with Acumatica and would love to show you how the solution can work for your company. To learn more about Acumatica 2020 R2 and to see a live demo of the product, register for our upcoming webinar or reach out to us

 

Webcast - Acumatica 2020 R2

Upcoming Webcast: See why people are raving about Acumatica 2020 R2

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, Events, Upcoming Webcasts | No Comments

Acumatica recently launched Acumatica 2020 R2 – the latest full-featured version of their award-winning Cloud ERP.

Join us on December 2nd to see a demo of Acumatica 2020 R2 and the significant new advances across the Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform, including:

  • A streamlined user experience
  • A fresh, modern design and new functionality to work smarter, not harder
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that reduce the chance for human error and the drudgery of repetitive manual tasks
  • Exclusive new features developed by NexTec for our customers
  • The best third-party software on the market today to extend the power of Acumatica

Lunch is on us and our partner, Acumatica, so save your seat today!

Register today

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Manufacturing ERP

What Will Manufacturing Look Like in 2021?

By | ERP, Manufacturing | No Comments

Manufacturing ERP

Technological evolution will drive manufacturing innovation and growth in 2021. Digital technologies like automation and increased reliance on connected objects will drive a new approach to the way things are made.

Here is a closer look at some of the technologies and trends influencing manufacturing innovation over the next year.

Automation

 Automation comes in many forms in today’s manufacturing space. There is artificial intelligence that helps improve customer interactions, predicts needed maintenance and repairs and helps spot trends. Robotics, while not new, continues to make strides in driving efficiency and taking on increasingly complex tasks. 3D printing allows for parts to be made and shipped quickly or created and installed onsite. This not only drives down costs and downtime but can also influence inventory control. Virtual reality changes the way field technicians approach and solve problems.

According to IDC’s 2019 manufacturing predictions, 60% of floor workers will be working alongside at least one of these automated technologies. This has significant implications for manufacturers, whose workers may see these innovations as a threat to their jobs at the same time companies need those workers to learn, use and innovate with these tech tools.

Going Global

Location matters less than ever before as global manufacturers, armed with powerful collaboration tools driven by complex Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, can now build powerful global supply networks. Information, data and parts or products can be moved from one location to another more quickly and cheaper than ever before.

These global supply networks, bolstered by real-time sharing of logistics and data, let companies ship and source products from and to virtually anywhere in the world. An ERP system centralizes data associated with inventory management, inventory control, production processes and the supply chain at large for a holistic view of operations.

Manufacturers can leverage these tools to forge new global partnerships. Industry-specific ERP software helps drive these partnerships by integrating business processes and data, allowing for better coordination and management of operations among far-flung partners.

Manufacturing ERP

Digital Drive

Digital transformation is seemingly boundless today. Traditional digital transformation opportunities will continue to manifest in 2021, including the ability to reduce costs, improve efficiency and drive innovation.

Today, the abundance and potential of digital technologies are beginning to shift manufacturing to an “as a service” sector. This change is driven in large part by the growth of the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which is putting connected objects in the manufacturing plant and in finished goods.

IIoT allows companies to develop, create and sell products in a rich market-informed context, drawing on data and interactions from customers to spur innovation. In addition, manufacturers are entering new markets as they unlock the potential of the collected data to provide new products and services that provide valuable new offerings to customers.

These information-based products and services are creating new business models for manufacturers that embrace the new technologies to the core. Manufacturers can become the disruptors when they act quickly, as opposed to losing market share to other disruptive players.

At NexTec, we believe the right ERP implementation partner makes all the difference. We work closely with manufacturers to identify their needs and select a solution that will allow them to pivot operations and integrate new technologies as they become available. To learn more about NexTec’s services and how our ERP solutions help manufacturers future-proof their businesses, reach out to us. We’d love to chat.

How to Reduce Stress in Manufacturing

How to Reduce Stress in Manufacturing

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, Manufacturing | No Comments

How to Reduce Stress in ManufacturingThe manufacturing industry has always been rife with challenges. The events of 2020, however, have compounded the typical hurdles manufacturers face and have created new ones as well.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, skilled labor was already in short supply, and many manufacturers continue to struggle to fill critical hourly positions. And even when those positions are filled, companies must get creative in maintaining social distancing in the workplace. 

As companies reassess their finances in the wake of COVID-19 disruptions, plans for expansion or investments in technology may have been brought to a grinding halt. Add to that global supply chain disruption, shifting consumer buying behaviors and political uncertainty, and it is not surprising that manufacturers are feeling stressed about the financial and operational health of their organizations.

In this uncertain environment, software like an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution can help bring clarity and certainty to your manufacturing business. Here’s how ERP is helping to reduce workplace stress. 

Manufacturing ERP Provides a Single Source of Truth for Operations

To drive efficiency and cost savings, manufacturers rely on integrated solutions like an ERP. A cloud-based ERP solution serves to unify fragmented systems and departments across your business to develop deeper insights into your processes and operations. These departments include, but are not limited to:

  • Inventory management
  • Production planning
  • Contract management
  • Vendor relationships
  • Customer service
  • Order tracking
  • Shipments
  • Resource planning
  • Financial management
  • Warranty management

Between hiring new talent and pivoting to cater to new consumer buying patterns, manufacturers can benefit from implementing a manufacturing ERP system. ERP serves as a central data repository where you can document and optimize processes, performance metrics and procedures to ensure a quality final product and high customer satisfaction rates. 

Documenting the myriad pieces of your operations to achieve the desired results can help to maintain consumer trust and regulatory requirements on an ongoing basis, regardless of turnover or market shifts. It can also streamline the onboarding process to ramp up your new hires and turn them into top producers.

By having all the data from across your business centralized in one system, you get direct insight into your organization’s financial health. You can use real-time data to make key decisions that could affect your profitability and secure your longevity in the marketplace.

ERP Automation Becomes Critical for Cost Reduction

Manufacturing is still largely a manual process, but the automation features in a manufacturing ERP seek to change this, at least in part. By automating back-end processes, companies can free up valuable man-hours and reduce human error, both of which directly impact your bottom line.

And making these adjustments to the way your business runs comes at a critical time. Because of social distancing on assembly lines, many manufacturers are experiencing longer runs with fewer products. This not only drives up the cost of operations, but could be more prone to human error because it’s a different approach than what employees are used to.

Companies may be hesitant to make big capital investments in an ERP solution right now, but the payoffs are hard to ignore: tasks are performed without the risk of human error, sick days or limited availability, allowing the business to keep going at an efficient, predictable pace.

The Advantages of an ERP in the Cloud

Reducing Stress in Manufacturing

A cloud-based ERP helps manufacturers capitalize on the advantages of an ERP solution better and faster than an on-premise solution. Cloud-based systems don’t require any additional hardware or maintenance since they’re hosted off-site. Cloud accessibility also means that employees can access the system from anywhere, enabling some employees the opportunity to work from home.

The availability of real-time data from anywhere at any time helps manufacturers respond quicker and more effectively to shifts in consumer demand – a feat that COVID-19 has shown is essential as demand patterns seemingly change overnight.

Explore Acumatica Cloud ERP – Manufacturing Edition

Opting for a Cloud-based ERP solution provides manufacturers with the functionality needed to streamline operations. By automating your financials, distribution, manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, customer relationship management and project accounting processes within one, integrated platform, you gain financial predictability and the opportunity to grow your business. 

Acumatica Cloud ERP – Manufacturing Edition is designed to address the challenges of the manufacturing industry. As a complete multi-site manufacturing control and planning system, Acumatica supports multiple manufacturing methodologies, including make to stock (MTS), make to order (MTO), engineer to order (ETO), configure to order (CTO), batch process and more. 

To learn more about how Acumatica can help you reduce stress in your manufacturing business, check out our product tour or reach out to us. We’d love to chat.

What you Need to Know Before Selecting a Manufacturing ERP

What you Need to Know Before Selecting a Manufacturing ERP

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, Cloud, Manufacturing | No Comments

What you Need to Know Before Selecting a Manufacturing ERP

An Enterprise Resource Planning system, or an ERP, is a solution that provides manufacturers with end-to-end visibility into their operations. It allows users to manage their accounting, finance, operations, projects, distribution and inventory processes in one single platform. ERP software is often hosted in the cloud, which means that company data is accessible anywhere, anytime and on any browser-enabled device.

Our newest ERP selection guide for manufacturers provides readers with:

  • The benefits of choosing an ERP solution created specifically for manufacturers
  • The steps to take in selecting an ERP that is right for your business
  • The top features and functionality you should look for in an ERP for manufacturers

Acumatica Cloud ERP is rated highest in customer satisfaction for Cloud Core Financial Suites. By automating a number of related back-office processes, Acumatica helps businesses streamline operations and manage growth.

Download your copy of our ERP Selection Guide for Manufacturers or visit our resource center for additional information. To learn more about Acumatica Cloud ERP, reach out today.

Workers installing solar panels.

How an ERP Solution Helps you Address these Five Field Services Challenges

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, ERP, Field Services | No Comments

How an ERP Solution Helps you Address these Five Field Services Challenges

Field services companies face unique challenges, from contract management and data integration to scheduling, dispatching and route management.

Managing these challenges requires business software designed for the field services industry. An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution like Acumatica Cloud ERP, brings together finances, dispatching, warranty management, inventory and more into one flexible, robust system. This allows businesses to meet field services challenges head-on and take control of their finance, accounting, technicians, service and customer satisfaction.  

Here’s a closer look at how Acumatica ERP software helps you address five of the most cumbersome field services challenges.

1. First-Time Fix Rates

Returning to a customer site to redo work is costly, which is why it’s critical to get it right the first time. Return work is often due to poor, inaccurate or incomplete information about the customer’s problem, inaccurate location data, incorrect equipment or a mismatch with technician skills.

With Acumatica Field Service Management, scheduling the right people at the right time with the right skills to perform the work is handled quickly and efficiently. By being able to quickly capture service needs and access customer information, product history and resources required for a job, you can shorten the time between call receipt and job assignment and ensure the work is done right the first time.

2. Warranty Management

This time-consuming but required activity can cause headaches for field services businesses who aren’t able to accurately track and manage warranties.

With Acumatica, warranty management is integrated with other applications, helping to make establishing warranty offers for your customers and specifying which parts are under warranty easier and more streamlined. Having the ability to track multidimensional contracts (different warranties for different components of the system) from sales to repair in the field helps ensure billing accuracy, avoids confusion, mischarges and objections, and improves customer satisfaction.

3. Service Contract Management

Maintaining the revenue from recurring service contracts is crucial for most field services businesses. But without visibility into renewal dates for each contract, you could be leaving money on the table. 

An ERP solution like Acumatica comes equipped with dashboards that can alert your service team of expiring contracts and allows them to create and manage multiple service schedules per customer. 

4. Emergency Service Calls

No matter how prepared your services team is, emergency service calls have the ability to derail an entire day’s work. With an ERP solution to help handle unplanned service calls, you can find out how changes to planned routes, scheduling and equipment availability will affect the team with the least amount of impact to the planned schedule. New and updated service orders can be sent directly to the technicians mobile device through your Acumatica system.

5. Siloed Data

Field services companies that keep customer data, processes, scheduling and financials in separate systems risk customer satisfaction and customer retention rates. An all-in-one cloud ERP like Acumatica provides users with a 360-degree view of customer activities, helping to improve the customer experience and elevating satisfaction for higher recurring revenue and a competitive advantage. 

By integrating your customer management (CRM), sales, inventory, purchasing, accounting, manufacturing, project accounting and financial reporting into one system, you can streamline dispatching, reduce response and minimize costs.

Acumatica Cloud ERP helps drive your field services business further. By taking control of your finances, putting the right tools in the hands of your technicians and getting a 360-degree view of your customers, you can exceed customer expectations and increase profits. To learn more about Acumatica delivered by NexTec Group, reach out to us now. We’d love to chat.

Webcast: The future of GP and Why you should consider Acumatica (Recorded)

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, Events, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Upcoming Webcasts | No Comments

For years, Microsoft Dynamics GP has served your company well. But a shift in Microsoft’s focus may have you wondering, “What’s next for Dynamics GP?” The good news is that NexTec has your back. Our GP consultants are also certified in Acumatica and can help you make the switch to a fast, cloud-connected company accessible from remote workstations and mobile devices. Watch this webcast to learn more.

Webcast agenda

  • The future of GP
  • Why convert from GP to Acumatica?
  • Acumatica options: On-premise or Cloud-connected
  • Acumatica demo

Download the presentation slides

First Year Free GP to Acumatica Migration Offer

Contact us to learn about an exclusive offer to make the transition from GP to Acumatica. Offer available now through Dec 31, 2020.

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A Strategic Guide to Optimizing your Manufacturing Processes

A Strategic Guide to Optimizing your Manufacturing Processes

By | ERP, Manufacturing | No Comments

A Strategic Guide to Optimizing your Manufacturing Processes

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can be a game-changer for your manufacturing operation. ERP solutions allow organizations to harness the power of data generated by your operational processes, tools and customers to dramatically improve efficiency, visibility and profitability.

In this strategic guide to planning manufacturing production cycles, we’ll highlight the ways an ERP solution designed for manufacturers can transform the way you run your business.

The Challenges and Opportunities in Manufacturing Today

Manufacturers today face several key issues that can create challenges for growth. According to a Berntson Porter & Company survey, two-thirds of manufacturers are expecting revenue growth, but face several challenges, including:

  • A lack of alignment between revenue strategies and operations
  • Growing competition from traditional and non-traditional players
  • Government regulation
  • Technological barriers

Technology is a critical part of most manufacturers’ strategic planning. Digital transformation is changing the way companies approach their work. In addition, manufacturers have to be aware of not just traditional players, but disruptive new competitors that are embracing new technologies to gain market share.

Technological innovation will continue to influence production in 2021. Robotics, which has played a role in manufacturing for decades, continues to get smarter. Artificial intelligence, edge computing and blockchain technology are likely to continue to shape the future of manufacturing across all sectors.

The Role of ERP 

ERP solutions at their most basic provide integrated data collection, storage, analysis and company-wide visibility. Implementing an ERP system creates the ability to integrate functional areas of your business – including operations, material requirements planning (MRP), research and development, product planning, sales, marketing, finance, human resources, distribution and logistics – in one place. This integration of data across all departments creates end-to-end visibility throughout your whole business, allowing you to make better decisions based on one version of the truth. Without an ERP solution, many companies rely on disparate systems or spreadsheets to house and interact with data, which can create multiple versions of truth depending on which solution you choose to pull data from. 

For key decision-makers, C-suite leaders and other employers, the advantages of an integrated approach to data and systems allows for new approaches to solving problems. Data reporting and displays offer a better understanding of systems, performance, patterns and opportunities for greater efficiency.

For the operations side of your business, an ERP solution can have a dramatic impact on the way you run your company. Here is a closer look at several operational areas that can reap considerable benefits from an ERP implementation.

Streamlining Supply Chain Management

Today, your manufacturing is only as effective as your supply chain. As more companies take a global approach to manufacturing, the need for transparency and collaboration is critical. An ERP solution allows you to collect and share data and see the correlations between key supply chain components, from material requirements planning to product planning to distribution.

An ERP helps you integrate the information throughout the supply chain, from suppliers to customers. By bringing together disparate players and allowing for remote access to information, companies can more rapidly solve problems, control cost and boost productivity.

Increasing Inventory Control

Manufacturers face near-constant challenges related to inventory management. Overstocked materials are costly and wasteful. Market fluctuations create uncertainty regarding demand and the need for materials and supplies.

Inventory control features in the right ERP solution enable more accurate management, with trace functionality that reaches the lot, sub-lot and serial number level. With a real-time understanding of inventory levels, organizations can gain better control of their inventory, creating more efficient manufacturing and reducing waste.

Making Order Fulfillment more Productive

By integrating the finance, product planning, production, shipping, enterprise labeling, customer service and transportation functions in one centralized location, companies are better able to fulfill orders quickly and accurately. Documentation necessary for order fulfillment, picking, packing, labeling and shipping can be integrated, shared and made accessible to all employees and functional areas.

With an ERP solution, picking processes are more accurate and orders are shipped on time, improving customer satisfaction and ensuring repeat business. Compliance can be better managed within an ERP solution because companies can integrate and document their processes clearly to ensure adherence to federal and international regulations.

A Strategic Guide to Optimizing your Manufacturing Processes

Better Quality Control

Real-time access to information is a significant benefit for your quality control teams. With access to data around production processes, MRP, mixing, ingredients and recipes, intermediary products and grading data, these teams can better value, label, assess, and monitor products throughout production and while in inventory.

An ERP system allows for customized assignments of quality assurance criteria to be used for expiration dates, inspections, upstream and downstream traceability assessments and record-keeping. When faced with an inspection or audit, documentation can be provided quickly.

Optimizing Production Schedules

ERP software allows for better scheduling of production to coincide with demand, both current and anticipated. Production cycle planning is transformed by better capacity planning, bill of materials planning and shop floor control management.

When your ERP solution ties in performance management tracking and financial reporting, your planning can be even more anticipatory by factoring in lead times, material needs and supply delivery scheduling.

It becomes clear quickly that the impact of ERP solutions on manufacturing can be profound and powerful. At its core, ERP solutions are about leveraging data.

Today, there are terabytes of data available to every manufacturer. The smart factory floor has equipped machines with sensors that can collect and transmit information about operational efficiency, required maintenance and performance indicators. Products themselves can generate information either as finished goods or as raw materials. Finally, customers generate information on how products are used and consumed.

Required data varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and department to department. Without an ERP solution in place, the challenge is knowing what data is available in other areas of your company. 

With an ERP solution, you’re better able to collect and reconcile this information, often using automation tools and connected devices that will share and store information in the right format and in the right place.

Business intelligence tools help to make sense of the information collected. BI tools, integrated with your ERP system, can help pinpoint trends and opportunities that otherwise may not manifest themselves.

BI tools that work alongside your ERP system can also reduce the number of redundancies in the collection and reporting of your data coming from disparate sources or in different formats. Data will be presented in real time in an actionable format that allows for better and more accurate decision-making.

With the growth of globalized demand and production, companies face increasing domestic and international compliance issues. An ERP solution helps to maintain compliance with different agencies and regulators, using automated tools to track and record lots, generate audit trails, create reports and automate the data needed to comply with legal and fiscal requirements across different jurisdictions.

In the case of a recall, your ERP solution also provides powerful tools to identify issues faster and resolve them quickly and efficiently. Powerful track-and-trace tools allow for the rapid identification of sources and destinations of affected products. Streamlined processes allow for the identification, notification and tracking required to ensure public safety and reduce the risk to your brand, bottom line and reputation.

With geopolitical instability an ever-present threat to manufacturers large and small, the need for more efficient operations is more critical than ever. ERP solutions help provide more certainty in the projections and assumptions that are used to plan and predict, and they can provide manufacturers not just with operational efficiency, but also more flexibility and confidence in decision-making.

An ERP system is also critical for manufacturers looking to become more customer-centric and responsive to evolving customer needs and demands. Customers expect to interact more with brands and for those brands to know them and how they use products. With features found in an ERP solution, companies can be more responsive to customer expectations and needs.

Some manufacturers are even adopting manufacturing-as-a-service, providing on-demand access to desired products, customizations and flexibility. With an ERP solution, manufacturers can be more responsive to the way customers want to access products.

Why Choose a Cloud-Based System?

Cloud ERP solutions offer considerable advantages to the manufacturer. Among the top benefits:

  • Lower upfront costs that are shifted from capital expenditures to operating costs
  • Lower operating costs as cloud solutions reduce or eliminate the need for onsite storage, maintenance, security and cooling costs
  • Fast implementation and scalability. Cloud solutions allow companies to adopt quickly and gradually migrate data and systems to the ERP over time. Most cloud solutions allow you to pay for what you use, meaning that demand and usage can grow as needs present themselves.
  • Updating capacity that is rapid and responsive, allowing for the newest versions of software and the newest technologies to be adopted and used quickly.

The need for powerful ERP solutions is clear. Knowing how to choose the right system is often not. NexTec helps enterprise organizations transform their businesses by providing industry-specific ERP solutions and exceptional consulting services. To learn more about how to choose the right ERP solution for your company’s manufacturing needs, reach out to us. We’d love to chat.